Selecting the perfect water filter for your home is not such an easy task to undertake. Before bringing a specific water filter into a home, it’s important to first assess the water quality in the area so that the filter can remove those contaminants.
Evaluating the water supply is the easiest way to determine what sort of pollutants would be present and what would fit best to filter the water. Even if tap water meets water quality regulations, using a water filter is still a good idea, as water quality may vary over time, even from the same source.
The Different Methods of Filters and Their Efficiency
Water filtration systems have evolved a great deal in the past decades and this has meant a boom in water filtration variety overall. Different methods of filtration have come to be used, and some will be more efficient than others. The level of efficiency depends on the water source and what contaminants are present.
This method of water filtration is a very popular one, and it’s possibly the most widely used. There is a reason why filters with carbon are so frequently used as the medium itself is quite effective and cheap. The way in which filtration with carbon works is by sifting the water through a physical medium that traps contaminants. Carbon has very many pores and these are essential in catching pollutants from water.
Filters that use carbon medium can thus remove chlorine, pesticides, suspended solids, and even microplastics. What they often fail to remove is bacteria and dissolved minerals. Very small pores categorized as nanofilters might be able to catch viruses, but these are not as widely encountered by average customers.
Since carbon filtration on its own is not the most effective method of cleaning water some filters use KDF mediums in combination with carbon. KDF uses high-purity zinc and copper granules through which water passes and is filtered, creating a redox reaction. This effectively removes chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, and heavy metals from the water.
The KDF filtrations method implements a backwashing technique to flush the filter when necessary. This process creates some wastewater, but it also contributes to extending the filter’s life span, which can easily reach up to 6 years.
Reverse Osmosis Filters
One of the most prestigious water filters, reverse osmosis is known to drastically improve water quality. RO systems use a semipermeable membrane to filter out dissolved contaminants, heavy metals, and suspended solids, famously boasting a 99% removal of these contaminants.
Bacteria and viruses are still hard to filter out for an RO system, and that sort of contaminants would need further specific attention. Even so, tap water greatly benefits from reverse osmosis filtration, with advantages like a really long life span for the system itself. The semipermeable membrane can last for up to 2 years.
UV and Distillers
A distiller is not really a filtration system, but it’s the most efficient purification method to eliminate viruses and bacteria. This method is especially sought out for drinking water to make it safe.
UV water filtration on the other hand is a filtering system and can eliminate bacteria and viruses. With its easy installation and maintenance process makes it very desirable for private water sources like wells. There is a downside to this system, as it does not have the capacity to remove any other pollutants like total dissolved solids.
Different filtration systems implement one or more methods of filtration which can scale them on a spectrum of efficiency. In the search for a filter that eliminates the most contaminants, one may first have to test the water source before deciding which filter to install.
Water Filter Pitchers
Water filters that use carbon as the catalyst usually come in the most recognizable form of a pitcher. While very well known, pitchers are not the only ones that use carbon, as it can be found in faucet and shower mounted filters, as well as in more complex systems like a reverse osmosis filter.
Water filter pitchers are a great fit for tap water sources that don’t have a huge amount of contamination. Filtering this water will offer improvements when it comes to taste and smell, by reducing chlorine. Some great reviews on water filters pitchers can be found here to help new buyers choose one that fits.
Faucet and Shower Mounted Filters
Directly mounted on the faucet, this filter will clean water as it comes out. The same goes for shower-mounted filters. Both use primarily carbon as a filtering medium but also come with KDF granules that can rack up the efficiency even more.
Essentially implementing a layered system in a compact device, one for cleaning drinking water, the other to reduce scale buildup in showers and bathtubs. Shower filtration is also great at reducing the buildup of contaminants on hair or skin, thus reducing irritation in the process.
Under Sink Water Filters
The most common water filter that can be installed under the sink uses reverse osmosis as a medium. Usually, these are point of entry filtration systems and clean only the water from a specific outlet.
Whole House Filtration Systems
Encompassing many of the filtration methods mentioned, a system that covers the entire house at every entry point is the most sought-after type of water filtration. With the ability to link up more than one filtration method, a whole house filter can encompass reverse osmosis, carbon absorption, and even UV filtration.
With all the bases covered as well as additional bacteria removing UV filtration, the whole house filtration system has got to be the filter that removes most contaminants.
Finding the perfect water filtration system can be difficult, especially when faced with so many options. There are different methods of filtration and not all come with the same filter, but many of them can be linked together to provide the greatest efficiency.